In this article, I will list the best places to eat, drink, and dance through the hot Sicilian nights.
Ciao! It is me again, Don Tano Bongiorno with more information about majestic Sicily. I will guide you as I would with the dearest of my friends to help them experience the island as the locals do.
Today I can tell you want to do in one of the most famous spots with summer right around the corner: Mondello.
In Mondello, you can find one of the best beaches of Sicily.
I’ve already told you how to get here in another article (which you should definitely read) but right now, I’m going to tell you about what you should do here once the sun goes down.
Be a little patient here because the list of places that you should experience are broken up into three categories to better organize your trip: eating, drinking, and having fun.
Sicilians consider ourselves the best in the world in these three areas, but we definitely struggle with areas like working and sweating – but that is a story for another time.
It is best for us to go back to talking about food, drinks and fun.
As I would tell anyone, I am not the Eternal Father with the most objective judgement, so the places that I recommend are not always the best ever because no one place actually is.
If you hear otherwise, someone is trying to fool you.
The listed locations are chosen by my personal opinion as a local and through my interactions with other Sicilians. These are the best places to enjoy Mondello without being a tourist.
To avoid any unnecessary chitchat, here are the places you need to know (conveniently divided into categories).
Let’s get started.
Restaurants where you can eat local cuisine in Mondello
Allora, I have decided to divide restaurant choices by price range.
Although this rule does not always work, I can tell you that when it comes to dishes like fish, the price actually does make a difference.
We Sicilians have a saying: “Quantu spenni manci“.
This can be roughly translated as ‘eat in proportion to how you spend’ – which addresses both quantity and quality.
We can often eat and get better service from higher priced locations, but this does not always mean if you do not have a large budget devoted to dining you will have terrible food. There is often a compromise to be made, however.
Without further ado, I present the restaurants that you should try.
You would be fortunate to walk away from one of these meals spending less than €50 per person.
1. BYE BYE BLUES
This is the only starred restaurant in Palermo that is frequented by foodies that live locally and only some that are passing through.
The kitchen’s chef, Patrizia Di Benedetto, has taken a unique spin on her traditional family recipes to put her restaurant on the coveted Michelin podium.
This is the only Michelin star restaurant in Palermo, and the only female chef in all of Sicily to have been given this prestigious award. The Bye Bye Blues’ distinct Mediterranean menu has multiple fish dishes but also many vegetables as well.
Bottom line: If you do not have a refined palate to percieve hues and shades of flavor, do not consider this restaurant as you will likely end up disappointed.
2. ALLE TERRAZZE
With its exceptional position inside the halls of an ancient bathing establishment in Mondello, Alle Terrazze is another consideration diners should make. This restaurant seems to be on a ship, surrounded by crystal clear waves in a gulf.
This is a romantic choice, and it is often chosen as a date location. What could be better than having a nice dinner in soft moonlight reflecting from the sea?
The “trick” and the allure of the cuisine here is the quality of ingredients used.
With only select products chosen to make the menu, even simple dishes like the pasta with seafood (a classic cuisine of the Mediterranean) become something unique and special.
Bottom line: If you can afford to try this out, I suggest you give this restaurant a chance. It has a crazy location within a small castle immersed in the Mondello sea.
3. ANTICHE MURA
This is another location that can wow you with its array of seafood dishes.
The restaurant takes its name from ancient walls surrounding the building that houses both the restaurant and its garden. This area is quaintly furnished through the summer months for additional restaurant seating.
Among the most requested of the popular dishes here at Antiche Mura is the tabulè of couscous and squid, pasta seasoned with sea urchin meat (alone or with prawns), the “fish sausage”, and the fried paranza.
Be mindful of how much you are eating, though. You need to save room for the excellent desserts here as well.
Bottom line: This is a restaurant for refined palates as well set in a location straight out of a fairytale. It is a place frequented by high-class Sicilians, but also by many toffee-nosed individuals.
You can expect these meals to fall somewhere in the 30 to 40 Euro range.
1. BADALAMENTI KITCHEN AND SHOP
For many years now, Badalamenti has been a respected delicatessen, but now it is the stop for all lovers of quality foods.
While you can still get cold cuts, cheeses, honey, vegetables in oil and other deli favorites, you can also eat from a menu of attractive dishes.
You should know that they also deliver big baskets with local delicacies and wines all over the world.
In addition to the specialty of the house, there is a delicious risotto with cuttlefish with curly meat accompanies by shellfish sauce and buffalo ricotta mousse. There are also options like tuna steak on pistachio crust with caponatina in white, Irish lambchops with porcini mushrooms, and a multitude of excellent desserts.
Bottom line: This is a nice location, but not as good as those listed above. If you want excellent high-end eats at lower prices than those first-class choices, this is where you begin that search.
2. DA CALOGERO
Several decades ago on the Mondello seaside, fishermen set up huts when possible, with a little change, to cook up octopus, sea urchins, and other crustaceans freshly caught from the sea lapping the village there.
In the 1980s, huts were dismantled yet these same practices continued in a new location. One of these being the Da Calogero restaurant, which opened its doors right in front of the open sea.
As per tradition, you can expect to find simple boiled octopus seasoned with a splash of lemon, but you can also find elaborate and complex seafood dishes as well.
Bottom line: While it might not be exactly the same as it used to be decades ago, and even with its touristy vibe, you can find quality boiled octopus at reasonable prices.
3. L’ANGOLO DI MONDELLO
This could be defined as a classic restaurant that you can find by chance.
Even though it is only a short walk from the seaside, it is slightly hidden from others in the area, and this might explain the modest pricing of dishes despite the high-quality ingredients and dishes you can find.
While the location is not 5 stars and neither is the service, the quality to price ration makes this an excellent choice.
You should try the Octopus Salad (freshly prepared before customers) which features spaghetti with clams and grilled swordfish.
Bottom line: This location is not a memorable one, but the food is good and the price matches up to this very well.
CHEAP EATERIES FOR ALL BUDGETS
Most of these options do not require you to spend more than €20 per eater.
1. PACE E BENE RESTAURANT
You are not going to see the location and furnishings in it as the selling points of this restaurant, it is very spartan yet clean with a friendly staff that make dining enjoyable.
This works as a pizzeria and a restaurant, and in either case, you can find good food at a low price.
You cannot realistically have the highest expectations like you are preparing for 5-star cuisine for the price of a sandwich. This does not happen in Mondello, especially during the summer months.
Bottom line: If you are not someone who cares much about location and want to have good pizza, pasta, or fish without spending a lot, this is where you should go.
2. GASTRONOMIA FRATELLI TESTAVERDE
I should begin by saying that this is not a location to sit and have a calm meal – it is in fact the opposite.
There is limited seating and there is no table service to speak of, so people come here and buy take-away food. They eat this food standing in the street or inside their cars.
That being said, this is also a historic venue that has become famous for its food offerings to the public. “Pane and Panelle”, bread with spleen, pieces of rotisserie, arancine, baked pasta, and so on get prepared to a strict traditional approach.
This is a great unplanned stop for an inexpensive lunch without sky-high expectations.
Bottom line: I would suggest to anyone that they should come and try the street food. You can eat standing there like the locals do or even take it back to your accommodation if it is nearby (as you want to eat it warm).
3. ANTICA FRIGGITORIA COME UNA VOLTA
You can loosely translate this name to mean something like ‘old fashioned chip shop like in the old days.”
This has a prime location in the main square of Mondello.
You can see plastic tables on the street and very loose hygiene rules – also like the old days – but all in all a good “Friggitoria” where you can try local street eats.
When we say friggitoria, we more or less also mean “chip shop” which translates to small places (usually very spartan) that serve fried foods like panelle, crocche, and other delicacies we Sicilians enjoy.
Bottom line: You are not going to find fish or world class refined dishes here, but you can find tasty fried street foods. This is ideal for lunches and dinners at a low cost, as many of the locals can show you the size of platters including options like panelle, crocche, and beer.
BONUS TIP: EATING AT NIGHT IN MONDELLO
There are some life-saving places to eat if you get attacked by hunger late or are trying to work off a bit of a buzz from the club.
It is not difficult in Sicily to find yourself indulging in a few too many glasses, so when you want to absorb some of this alcohol, you can head to the main square for La Fuente. This place stays open into the early hours of the morning.
A lifesaver indeed.
It is famous for its sandwiches, which are incredibly delicious and tasty once you’ve had a few glasses. After all, everything looks and tastes better when you’re a little drunk.
Bottom line: The middle of the night on the weekends can become so crowded you might think it was lunchtime. Sandwiches are good and the prices are even better. This is a favored location for locals throughout the summer.
This place is open and crowded the entire day starting from very early in the morning.
I would recommend trying this place to have a good breakfast with a sea view from their terrace, but is also a good place to check out in the middle of the night.
They serve some of the best rosticcerie in the Mondello area, and at night when you are starving, it is going to taste even better.
Bottom line: You can come here after dancing away the night in the clubs, and you want to put something in your stomach before bed without emptying your wallet.
3 Things You Should Know Before You Eat Out
There are three things that I think you should know if you decide to eat out to make the most of both lunches and dinners.
1. Don’t Eat Restaurant Fish on Rainy Days
The fishermen in the area do not work on rainy days, so all of the restaurants can only serve you frozen varieties of fish if it has rained a lot. No, you aren’t going to get food poisoning and the dish should still be pretty good, but it won’t be as delicious as a fresh option.
2. Always Reserve Tables When You Can
In the summer, most of the area restaurants get crowded (especially on the weekends). You an avoid long waits by reserving tables for set times, and a good time to call is before the lunch rush begins to ensure you get a reservation.
3. Be on the Lookout for “Italian Service”
You will find that many Italian waiters in small restaurants run around shouting at one another and seek to serve tables as quickly as possible. This is not bad service, just their way to work and serve the customers in the restaurant. If you feel pressured, you can always ask them to give you time to make a decision.
Nightlife in Mondello
You should know going in that nightclubs in Palermo and Mondello open and close without warning, and change in popularity from week to week like lottery numbers. I do not know why.
Despite doing everything possible to keep the content of this site as up to date as possible, and even as I write this article, some of these clubs could have changed their name or gone belly up.
Madness is the only constant in the nightlife here.
However, you can look below to find what are frequented by the locals of Mondello and Addaura at this time.
N.B. Since these are exclusively summer venues, you will only find them open from June through mid-September. They will not be open the rest of the year.
Great Drinking Venues
Here are three of the most popular spots to grab a drink from sunset on.
Remember, these are also only summertime spots, so they are not going to be open out of season.
Golden tip: While these might be great locations for drinking and having fun, I would avoid eating here as they often only serve overpriced frozen junk foods.
This is one of the first stops that locals make during the smoldering summer evenings. Many start here with an aperitif around 7:30pm and then move on to another place. Some find this place entertaining enough on its own to stay here until late in the night.
Bottom line: Good place for a drink at sunset or after dinner.
This is a spot on the Addaura seafront, and the highlight of this location is the terrace overlooking the sea. It is one of the most beautiful places to take in the sunset over a glass of Sicilian wine.
Bottom line: A lovely location ideal for a glass of white wine in the early evening.
3. Màs Blanco
Another location in the promenade of Addaura is another stop for an aperitif at sunset, but it can also become a crowded establishment from 10pm on for those looking for drinks after dinner.
Bottom line: The best time to come here is after dinner on Saturdays.
The Best Places to Dance in Mondello
You might have taken a look at the nightlife page and already know that Palermo does not have a lot of dance clubs. During the summer months in Mondello, your options increase significantly.
This is a fun spot on the Addaura seafront. Through the week it is a great stop for aperitifs and dining, but on the weekends after 11pm, it becomes a club to dance late into the night.
Bottom line: Saturday is the best day to go there.
This is not located in Mondello, but rather Sferracavallo, which is only about ten or fifteen minutes via car from there. You can appreciate a huge terrace overlooking the sea to enjoy a nice cocktail and dance until late in the night.
Bottom line: This dance club has possibly the best atmosphere.
3. Baia del Corallo
This is one of the few genuine dance clubs in the area. It is also located in Sferracavallo on the seafront. You can book a table and start your evening before dancing with a sunset aperitif.
Bottom line: It is a great summer club stop, but the crowd here is usually strictly between 20 and 25.
I believe I have told you everything I hoped to today. To make sure that your stay is enjoyable, I would recommend looking at the 20 tips I’ve acquired from locals for those traveling to Palermo.
If you have something else to add or to ask me, do not hesitate to reach out via the comment box below.